…Mulls $400 million agro-processing zones
The federal government said Thursday that it would soon complete the construction of its quality laboratory located in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
Minister of Industry, trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo, said this while briefing State House correspondents at the weekly Ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team.
He said completion of the laboratory would boost government’s effort towards exporting more products abroad.
“In order to improve the exportation of agricultural products, my Ministry took the the Federal Executive Council a National Quality Policy, to make sure that the quality of goods that we produce and we export are of international standard.
“We have partnered with the AFREXIMBANK and the first quality lab that is going to be in operation in Nigeria, I think should be ready by the end of this year. It is in Abeokuta, Ogun State, whereby, Nigerian goods would be put to the quality test and be certified by one of the international inspection agencies and once they get that certification, anywhere they are shipped to in the world, there would be no problem,” he said.
The minister said the country would establish agro-processing zones in all parts of the country in collaboration with the African Development Bank, where about $400 million would be invested by the bank and its partners.
“Rather than just exporting raw materials, we are encouraging people to add value to those raw materials because doing so will also create jobs here in Nigeria. So, we are in talks with the African Development Bank and we are waiting for their Board to just approve the facility
“We are going to have special agro processing zones, eight States are in the first phase and once the approval is given, the contract will be awarded for the setting up of these processing zones whereby people will set up companies and manufacturing facilities for the processing of our raw materials,” he said.